Al Khalifah repression of Bahrainis has no limit: Activist

A file picture taken on February 11, 2015 in Manama shows Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab and his daughter Malak leaving a court building after attending his appeal hearing. (AFP photo)

Press TV has interviewed Saeed Shehabi, from the Bahrain Freedom Movement in London, to discuss the arrest of senior Bahraini opposition leader and human rights activist Nabeel Rajab.

A rough transcription of the interview appears below.

Press TV: Another prominent vocal critic of the Al Khalifah has been apprehended once again. There seems as there is no letup in the crackdown carried out by the Al Khalifah against the democratic aspirations of the people of Bahrain.

Shehabi: It is another black day in the history of the ruling regime in Bahrain. The arrest of Nabeel Rajab is once again another slap to the human rights world and the officials of those organizations that are working in human rights field.

Today in the opening of the present session of the Human Rights Council, Zeid bin Ra’ad, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, lambasted [the] Bahraini regime and accused them of torturing and arresting and so on, of people. Now Nabeel Rajab’s latest arrest comes at a time when the regime is intent on escalating its persecution of the native Bahraini people.

Only few days ago, it forced Zainab al-Khawaja to leave Bahrain, another exile added to the list of those whose nationality has been revoked and stripped. Now Nabeel Rajab has been almost quiet in the past 12 months or so yet the regime cannot tolerate any one who is dissenting. The escalation of repression has no boundary whatsoever; there is no limit to how much they are going to repress the people of Bahrain.

Press TV: And what about the international silence both coming from certain Western countries and also from the mainstream media with regards to what has been taking place over the years in Bahrain?

Shehabi: Well the silence is one issue and it is the lesser evil. The lesser evil is the silence because what is happening is not just silence but complicity. Our indications are that the regime would not have arrested Nabeel Rajab without agreement from their supporters in the West.

So we are not only talking about silence or lack of condemnation or just normal and diplomatic support but we are talking about active support in security matters and also planning of how to deal with the prominent figures of the Bahraini opposition, the Bahraini leading figures against the Al Khalifah occupiers and their Saudi backers.

So we are talking about complicity and this is not only me I am talking about it but several writers, several authors and activists, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, are expressing outrage at the extent to which complicity is taking place between some Western capitals and the Al Khalifah and Saudi regimes.

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